Friday, November 24, 2006

...Not Idi Amin's Story

If you want to watch the genius, which is Forest Whitaker, bring to life the notoriously vile legend of Idi Amin Dada, then prepare to have all your fears and uneasiness, which were ignited in the ‘70s upon learning of Amin in the media, rekindled. If you’re looking for a movie to more closely examine the life of the infamous, African president, don’t see this movie. This is not Idi Amin’s story. And, while I don’t know enough to dispute the atrocities of this Ugandan president’s regime, I do understand that the novel, written by Giles Foden, a British journalist who spent twenty years in Africa, is a historical novel, which includes both fact and fiction. In fact, The Last King of Scotland is the story of a fictional young doctor, Nicholas Garrigan, who becomes the personal physician and confidante of the tarnished Amin. And, from the time of Joseph Conrad, white men have been going into the Dark Continent, coming out with stories about wild, uncivilized Africans, conjuring unfathomable nightmares in Western dreams. Again, I am not debating the events that we have been told about which characterize the life and administration of Idi Amin Dada. But, because I have been born into a world that has always been post colonial and post slavery, and because I am a descendent of those colonized and enslaved, and because I live in a world which continues to recognize me as one of the “others”, it is sometimes difficult to hear stories about other “others” without at least a fraction of doubt. Even as an American, I don’t feel that I have the luxury of taking things at face value. So, as for me, I must do more research in order to satisfy my own understanding.



At 9:22 AM , Blogger dick clinch said...

A point well taken.

It would not be difficult to document a multiplicity of examples of attrocities carried out by men of a much paler complexion.


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